Photo: AP Images
It only took a little over a week for Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to publicly call out one of his players.On Sunday, Valentine told a TV station in Boston that Kevin Youkilis hasn’t been trying very hard so far this season (emphasis ours).
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.”
The comment comes amidst Youkilis’ poor start (.200 AVG, 0 home runs, 8 strike outs).
Here’s what Youkilis told reporters Monday morning in response:
“Everyone here knows I go out and play with emotion. The only time there has ever been a question is because I’ve been too emotional.”
Youkilis also said Valentine’s thoughts “surprised” and “confused” him because the manager had never approached him about it before speaking to the media.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was equally irked by the whole situation.
“I really don’t know what Bobby is trying to do. That’s not the way we go about our stuff around here. He’ll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other’s backs here.”
Also of note: Youkilis is NOT in Monday’s lineup for Boston’s game versus the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s due to a groin injury, says Valentine.
Things have picked up for the slumping Red Sox as they’ve won three straight to pull within a game of .500, but the last thing this team needs is off-the-field nonsense or player-manager riffs. After last year’s late season debacle, it would be difficult for the Red Sox to endure a WHOLE year of shenanigans as well.
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